Zika Pregnancy Surveillance: Transforming Data into Educational and Clinical Tools

Little was known about the maternal and fetal/infant effects of Zika infection before the 2015 outbreak in the Americas, which made it challenging for public health practitioners and clinicians to care for pregnant women and infants exposed to Zika. In 2016, CDC implemented a rapid surveillance system, the US Zika Pregnancy and Infant Registry, to collect information about the impact of Zika infection during pregnancy and inform the CDC response and clinical guidance.

June 18, 2019

Use of N-grams and Term Relationship Graphs in the Syndrome Definition Development Process

The use of syndromic surveillance systems has evolved over the last decade, and increasingly includes both infectious and non- infectious topic areas. Public health agencies at the national, state, and local levels often need to rapidly develop new syndromic categories, or improve upon existing categories, to enhance their public health surveillance efforts. Documenting this development process can help support increased understanding and user acceptance of syndromic surveillance.

June 18, 2019

Developing Mindful and Targeted Data Visualizations for Diverse Audiences

Tennessee has experienced an increase of fatal and non-fatal drug overdoses which has been almost entirely driven by the opioid epidemic. Increased awareness by medical professionals, new legislation surrounding prescribing practices, and mandatory use of the state's prescription drug monitoring program has resulted in a decrease of opioid prescriptions and dosages. Paradoxically, emergency department discharges and inpatient hospitalizations due to opioid overdoses have continued to increase.

June 18, 2019

Epidemiology as a Practical Resource to Examine the Hype & Deliver Reliable Messages

It can be difficult to distinguish between truth, half-truth, fiction, and misinformation as we watch the news, read headlines, and scroll through various social media feeds. Fortunately, epidemiologists have the tools needed to serve as a practical resource for colleagues, partners, and communities. The Scrutinizer Challenge is an opportunity for epidemiologists to tackle at least one news story or study a month that is relevant to public health. The goal is that we would do the research necessary to examine data sources and implications of news stories and studies.

June 18, 2019

The Global Biosurveillance Portal: Biosurveillance for the Department of Defense

The 2012 National Strategy for Biosurveillance1 calls for improved integration, synchronization, and coordination of national biosurveillance activities and acknowledges the benefits of collective knowledge through sharing and receiving of biosurveillance information via strengthened partnerships amongst international, federal, state, local, tribal, territorial, private sector, nongovernmental, academic and other participants.

December 11, 2017

Reciprocal Data Sharing: Sending Monthly Summary Reports of Syndromic Data to ED

Over several months in 2012, NYC DOHMH syndromic surveillance staff met with directors of all 49 participating EDs in our syndromic system to collect information on their health information systems coding practices. During these interviews, ED directors expressed interest in receiving summary reports of the data they send to the syndromic unit, such as number of ED visits, most common complaints, and temporal and spatial trends. This effort was done to increase communication and cooperation between the syndromic unit and the EDs that provide data to the syndromic system.

December 29, 2017

Return to Public Health- Undeliverable letters of Communicable Disease Patients

Preventing communicable disease spread is a primary objective for public health (PH). Reaching contagious people in a timely manner is essential to limit disease spread. Notifying patients of their infectious status also serves as an official reminder of social and legal responsibilities. The Marion County Public Health Department (MCPHD) sends disease information and Notice of Privacy Practices to patients using the United States Postal Service (USPS). We examined communicable disease cases with undelivered mail to ascertain failure causes and rates.


December 29, 2017

U.S. Dept. Veterans Affairs (VA) SMEC-bio Reporting for Leadership Decision Support

VA is the U.S. federal agency responsible for providing services to America’s Veterans. Within VA, VHA is the organization responsible for administration of health care services. VHA, with 152 Medical Centers and over 900 outpatient clinics located throughout the U.S. and territories, provided care to over 5 million patients in 2011.

July 05, 2018

Traditional and Mobile Public Health Alert Communications with Health Care Providers

The effectiveness of emergency preparedness and response systems depends, in part, on the effectiveness of communication between agencies and individuals involved in emergency response, including health care providers who play a significant role in planning, event detection, response and communication with the public.

August 22, 2018

Biosurveillance Ecosystem (BSVE) Workflow Analysis

The Defense Threat Reduction Agency Chemical and Biological Technologies Directorate (DTRA CB) has initiated the Biosurveillance Ecosystem (BSVE) research and development program. Work process flow diagrams, with associated explanations and historical examples, were developed based on in-person, structured interviews with public health and preventative medicine analysts from a variety of Department of Defense (DoD) organizations, and with one organization in the Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) and with a major U.S. city health department.

January 02, 2018


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